27 Dec. 2013
My dearest Sybithian:
Now that I’ve found a scenic spot along the river to marvel at the magnificent skyline of Singapore, I thought I would use the city’s electrifying ambiance and cosmopolitan vibe to write you this note. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas in Athens. I can’t wait to hear every detail of what that experience must have been like (bar all those Greek guys flirting with you…hmmph). My childish jealousy aside, I spent Christmas Day traveling between two major cities in two countries in which Christianity is not the predominant religion of the populace. I woke up refreshed in Kuala Lumpur and embarked on an enjoyable four-hour charter bus through rural Malaysia and into Singapore, all while listening to my favorite pop songs and a few Christmas carols. Whitney Houston’s rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” might be my favorite of them all, and it was played at one of the clubs atop the Marina Bay Sands resort just the other day while I captured some exhilarating cityscapes with my local photo contact. I loved every minute because this was probably the most atypical Christmas I have ever had! The only aspect that could have made the moment any more magical would be watching day turn to night from an open rooftop with you locked in my arms as the cool breezes provided some pleasant relief in the city’s humid climate. Let’s definitely spend next Christmas together. I don’t care if we’re stranded in an abandoned barn in the middle of Kansas. It would be the best Christmas if you were there.
One special highlight for me was visiting the rooftop of The Pinnacle@Duxton, a residential complex that offers the splendid urban landscape featured on this postcard. One of the tenants informed me during my visit that on very clear days, one can see beyond the Strait of Singapore to the islands of the Indonesian archipelago, where your father grew up and spent most of his life. I’m certain I saw a few islands from my vantage. Alas, I realized that this is probably the closest I’ve been to a significant part of your ancestral history. I smiled to myself, wistfully thinking, “I would not have Sybi in my life if not for Indonesia” and sent a thousand thanks southwards from where I stood. Granted, I didn’t actually count each one, but I did spend nearly three hours walking along the rooftops thinking about you and how my life has changed since we first crossed paths back in Washington. I can’t write any of these thoughts here because they are far too intimate. (Also, I fear I would make each postman or postwoman who touches this card blush ferociously!) Plus, there’s not nearly enough room left on this card! Nevertheless, I’m immensely fortunate to have you in my life, and I can’t wait to share these thoughts, as well as myself, with you in the new year.
I love you, my darling.
Original Singapore Photograph for licensing or printing